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Discussion Starter #1
I notice that the owner's manual for my 2004 Pilot does not mention chassis lube. I assume that this means that it has no grease fittings. Can someone confirm this? I would climb under the car right now but it is raining cats & dogs here.

I am very skeptical of claims for permanently lubed joints. I had another car with no grease fittings but I installed them anyway. I was very glad that I did because when I lubed the joints, especially during the winter or spring, water would be forced out of the joints. There was nothing special about those "maintenence free" joints at all except that the manufacturer was too cheap to install six grease fittings. However, maybe Honda does have better joints that do not require lube (although I am still skeptical about any such claims).

Any info on honda joints would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
 

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Don't know if this'll help or not, but it's from the 2003 Service Manual that talks about lubrication -- didn't see anything (so far) about grease fittings...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks, Kemosabe, but I am asking about chassis lube fittings (grease fittings). These are for ball joints, tie-rod ends, etc. For some years now, some car manufacturers have said that their joints no longer require periodic grease jobs. However, as I mentioned in my original post, often the company is just saving a few pennies. With some cars, the joints can be drilled and fittings installed (they only cost about 25 cents each) or there may even be just a plug that can be removed to install them. Again, I am very skeptical about any claims of "permanently" lubed joints or joints that do not require periodic lubrication. Moisture and dirt can get in joints and lubing them forces out water and old grease. Moving joints need to be greased.

It is possible that joints are now being made that really do not require lubrication and are truly sealed, but I have not seen such a joint yet. I have seen joints on cars that claimed to be maintenence free, but they were just regular joints without the fittings. Anyone who has lubed a car knows how water is forced out of the joint in the winter and spring. Chassis lube is basic maintenence.

But I may be called "too old and set in my ways" to understand these things as I was earllier today by another poster on another thread.....lol
 

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The 2003 Service Manual makes no mention of grease fittings in Section 17- Power Steering, or Section 18 - Suspension.
 

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ZoneIII said:
Thanks, Kemosabe, but I am asking about chassis lube fittings (grease fittings). These are for ball joints, tie-rod ends, etc. For some years now, some car manufacturers have said that their joints no longer require periodic grease jobs. However, as I mentioned in my original post, often the company is just saving a few pennies. With some cars, the joints can be drilled and fittings installed (they only cost about 25 cents each) or there may even be just a plug that can be removed to install them. Again, I am very skeptical about any claims of "permanently" lubed joints or joints that do not require periodic lubrication. Moisture and dirt can get in joints and lubing them forces out water and old grease. Moving joints need to be greased.

It is possible that joints are now being made that really do not require lubrication and are truly sealed, but I have not seen such a joint yet. I have seen joints on cars that claimed to be maintenence free, but they were just regular joints without the fittings. Anyone who has lubed a car knows how water is forced out of the joint in the winter and spring. Chassis lube is basic maintenence.

But I may be called "too old and set in my ways" to understand these things as I was earllier today by another poster on another thread.....lol
Ah the evolution of technology.

The way I see it, every joint is both "lubricated for life" and "requires lubrication"! The diffrence depends on the wear rate and the expected life.

The issue is whether the factory lubrication and seal will last the expected life of the part.

I don't know if under normal use, the life of these parts would be increased through additional lubrication.

The parts wear even if lubricated, so it is posible that under normal conditions the part is expeced to require replacement due to wear before the factory seal has allows enough loss of lubricant and/or intrusion of forien matter and water to cause failure.

I have run several vehicles well past 100,000 miles without ball joint or universal joint failures with factory sealed parts.

I have replaced many ball joints and u-joints due to excessive wear on vehicles with great fittings.

Kind of runs counter intuitive.
 

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ZoneIII, you have me very interested now. I'd really like to find out if this is something I can do for my Pilot if it doesn't have these grease fittings you're speaking of. It sure can get mucky and wet during the winters here with all that salt and gravel mixtures on the roads and because of that I have always been concerned with rust and corrosion.

Sorry I couldn't be any help to you at all, but certainly keep us updted with what you find on here. Thanks!
 

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Bear in mind that if you add grease fittings, and have some sort of related suspension failure during the warranty period, American Honda is likely to deny any claim, as you've modified the vehicle with unauthorized parts.

I can't ever recall having to do any related repairs, grease fittings or not, to any vehicle I've owned.
 

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Why add grease fittings when Honda, and many other manufacturers seal the system so that you don't need to add grease? That's like replacing the 5 year antifreeze with the stuff that only lasts 3 years, or replacing platinum spark plugs that last for 100,000 miles with plugs that only last 30,000.

If I may be blunt, why pay for Honda engineering if you're going to re-engineer with old technology?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
First Jay....

Your two posts are contradictory. First you say you have replaced many ball-joints, etc., and then in the next post you say you have never replaced them. (???)

Sure, it's true that there are cars that never have their tie-rod ends, ball-joints, etc., lubed and last for 100,000 or more. And it is also true that there are probably cars that have had regular lubes and had these parts fail. But the converse is also true. And I know of people who have smoked two packs of cigarettes a day and lived to a very old age. But does that mean it is better to smoke? I think you get the idea.

Voided warranty? Very doubtful! You are not changing the the way the joints function you are merely adding the ability to lube them. You seem to say that you work on cars a lot even though that does not seem to be the actual case. If you do, you know how easy it is to add grease fittings. Some joints already have a small plug (just a small bolt) that you take out and replace with the fitting. It takes about 1 minute. In other cases, drilling and tapping are required. This IMPROVES maintenance.


U-Joints? You surely know that if you have a U-joint without grease fittings and you have to replace it, the new joint will have the fittings. That's for good reason.



Guitar:

Nobody is suggesting that you change to old technology. I in no way even implied that. I merely suggested the possibility that you can ADD the ability to grease the joints. The joints themselves would remain the same. This improves maintenance of the joints. Make no mistake.....joint lube does NOT last for a lifetime. I wish I could show you all the dirt, crud, and water I pushed out of joints that originally came without grease fittings.


All this talk of the latest technology is a bit humorous when talking about joints. I just looked at the joints on my Pilot. They are regular joints just as have been used on cars for decades. Sure, they may (and probably are) sealed a bit better. But that is clearly the only difference. These are standard parts that you can get at any auto parts store. Nothing high tech about them. The design is as old as cars.


We are not talking rocket science here or high-tech. We are talking about a swiveling joint - a ball and a socket. They must have grease in them. Over time, grease wears out and dirt and water can (and will) work its way into the joint. You know that if you have ever greased a joint. I am merely suggested that you make a minor addition so that you can add fresh grease and force out old grease, dirt, and water. This has been done on cars since the beginning and the joints are fundamentally the same. The only real difference is that they no longer have grease fittings on the joints of some cars. Only one car that I have ever had besides the Pilot did not have grease fittings and I added those as soon as I realized that. It took no more than 10 minutes total and cost less than $2.00! When some cars started coming out without grease fittings in the early 70s, it was considered to be a joke at the time - merely a way for auto companies to save a few pennies. Any knowledgeable mechanic would add them and, in fact, when you went to have your oil changed (if you didn't do the work yourself) the mechanic would suggest adding grease fittings. It's no big deal. There is no way that a warranty would be voided by adding a grease fitting unless you damaged the joint itself. It's an improvement made so that you can BETTER maintain your car. It in no way affects the joint operation otherwise. Besides, you probably won't have a failure and this will never become an issue until the joints wear out prematurely AFTER your warranties expires.

I have a '93 Grand Voyager with 257,000 miles on it and the joints are original. They have no play at all. That's amazing joint wear. I grease them every time I change the oil which has been standard maintenance practice for many decades.

We are not talking computers here. These are simple mechanical joints. Fresh lubrication can only help. Just because Honda doesn't put grease fittings in the joints doesn't mean fresh grease is good and extends the life of the joints.

Sorry for all of this, but gruff attitude is is a carry-over from a smart-ass reply I got from Jay in another thread. He called me an old guy who cannot comprehend new technology simply because I change my oil more frequently than Honda recommends. Jay is one of those guys who clearly swears by what manuals say even though they may be incorrect or inaccurate. More knowledgeable car people understand how things work and can separate out the B.S. For example, Honda recommends that you only use 5w20 in your car. Go ahead! Follow that advice. But be aware that Honda's motivation for making that recommendation is simply so that they can meet mileage requirements. It is not for extended engine life.

Yep! I'm an old fart with Alzheimers. But I grew up at a time before computers where guys typically worked on cars for fun and to race. We learned a lot. New cars have great improvements and are much more reliable but the basics are the same in the mechanical systems. Metal rubs against metal. This is no secret.

You have to think.
 

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ZoneIII, you're confusing your jay and N_Jay somewhat. Yes, I regret my post in the other thread.

The long and short of it is there are no fittings on the Pilot. Do what you want regarding the vehicle's maintenance.
 

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jay said:
ZoneIII, you're confusing your jay and N_Jay somewhat. Yes, I regret my post in the other thread.

The long and short of it is there are no fittings on the Pilot. Do what you want regarding the vehicle's maintenance.
Jay, since he seems to refer to both of us by your name, I will let you handle it. (Besides, living near DC you are probably the better politician!)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
LOL!!!

What can you expect from a senile old fart who can't comprehend new technology?

Hey! I live close to one of you.


I admit, it pissed me off a bit but when you somone posts something like that, it's going to piss someone off.

Anyway, enough of that!

One of you should change your handle. Of course, I won't remember the handles anyway.

What was I talking about?
 

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...and to think that I thought Grease Fittings were what the costume crew had to do on the set of the movie... :1pat: :bonk: :2:
 

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ZoneIII said:
LOL!!!

What can you expect from a senile old fart who can't comprehend new technology?

Hey! I live close to one of you.


I admit, it pissed me off a bit but when you somone posts something like that, it's going to piss someone off.

Anyway, enough of that!

One of you should change your handle. Of course, I won't remember the handles anyway.

What was I talking about?
I am the close one (for now). Of course if I move to DC, then we have a real problem.

As for handles, I have been N_Jay on the Internet since at least 1993.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
OK, back to the topic. My curiosity got the best of me and I called the owner of the our largest area shop who is also a personal friend of mine. His family business has been in operation for over 50 years and has a great reputation in the area. They work on all types of cars. I asked him about cars without grease fittings. He told me that there is no difference in the joints - some car makers just don't put grease fittings in them. He said that he also thinks that this is simply because most joints will last through the warranty periods without being greased. IHe said that the car makers simply aren't concerned about it because they won't have to cover it under warranty when they do go. And he laughed at the idea that joints do not need regular lubrication. In other words, he said that joints that are not regularly greased will wear more quickly but they will generally not need to be replaced during the warranty period which is all the car makers really care about. But they do wear more quickly and introduce slop into stearing. After the warranty when they go, Honda can just sell you new joints and hopefully install them.

To me, this means that for someone who doesn't keep a car long, it probably won't make a difference. But, for those who maintain their cars and keep them for a long time (like me), it makes no sense to not lube the joints if it is possible to lube them.

I forgot to ask him if there is any reason that grease fittings cannot be put on my Pilot's joints. If they can, I most certainly will put fittings on them. I will call him again tomorrow and, if I can somehow remember to....:) .... I will report back what he says. It is possible that fittings cannot be fitted to them and, in that case, nothing can be done. It's too wet outside for me to climb under the car now to check that out.

So, it appears that, like the 5W20 thing, Honda's reasons doing things is not always to increase service life. That's no surprise to me. Don't get me wrong..... Honda is a great company. That's why I bought one. All of my small engines are Honda too - with one exception. It's just business.


At least one person expressed interest in this subject. I would suggest that, due to the argumentative nature of some of this thread, for which I share responsibility, he get another opinion about this from a mechanic in his own area or on another car board. Call a good independent mechanic and ask him. See what he says.


As for me, if there is no eason why I can't, I am going to fit the joints with grease fittings. I hope to have my Pilot LONG after the warranties end. Joints are still joints.
 

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ZoneIII said:
He said that the car makers simply aren't concerned about it because they won't have to cover it under warranty when they do go. And he laughed at the idea that joints do not need regular lubrication. In other words, he said that joints that are not regularly greased will wear more quickly but they will generally not need to be replaced during the warranty period which is all the car makers really care about. But they do wear more quickly and introduce slop into stearing. After the warranty when they go, Honda can just sell you new joints and hopefully install them.
I think you are truely mis-characterizing the intentions of the car manufacturers. Honda didn't get its reputation for quality by engineering their cars to fall apart after the warranty period. Who would buy another Honda if the first one fell apart after 4 years? Quite the contrary, Honda makes cars that last longer than most. So, if Honda instructs me on how to maintain my vehicle, I'm going to follow their directions.

On a slightly different subject, I just installed an 8-Track tape player in my Pilot. Perfect fit. Never liked those digital CDs anyway. Now I can rock out to my 8-track tapes from the 70's.:cool: Pictures to come.
 

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guitarman said:
...snip

On a slightly different subject, I just installed an 8-Track tape player in my Pilot. Perfect fit. Never liked those digital CDs anyway. Now I can rock out to my 8-track tapes from the 70's.:cool: Pictures to come.
:p How many match books do you have to stuff under the tape cartridge to get a good fit against the player heads? :1:
 

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Matchbooks? Never heard of that technique.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Guitar Man,

I was NOT trying to characterize Honda as a company who engineers something to fall apart. Quite the contrary. I thought I made that clear. I merely said that, according to my local shop, car manfacturers, in general, who do not include grease fittings on their joints do so simply because the joints will last a reasonable length of time (usually longer than the warranty), without lube jobs. They don't design them TO fall apart, they simply skip a step that would allow you to maintain them much better.

Just ask yourself.... do you think joints should be lubed? Do you honestly think that suddenly joints are lubed for life? It has always been considered a necessary maintenance procedure and for darn good reason. If you have your oil changed, watch the technician when he changes the oil on other cars. You will see him lubing the joints. The joints haven't changed much if any. All of a sudden joints don't need periodic lubrication? And some car companies who stopped including grease fittings started using them again when knowledgeable car owners complained. Just about any car-nut that I know wouldn't even think of not lubing his car's joints if it is possible to do so.

Your question is a bit baffling. Haven't you ever heard of a lube job? Haven't you ever had a car greased? Do you know what a grease job is? Are you familiar with how joints function? If you do, common sense should tell you that it can only help to lube them periodically. Grease does not last forever. When lubing my cars, air bubbles, dirt and, worst of all, water comes out very often. Just because Pilot's don't have grease fittings doesn't mean that suddenly the basic mechanical nature of the joints has miraculously changed. It is very possible that they have better seals and improved grease in the joints from the factory, but joints should be lubed regardless of what anyone tells you. Yeah, that's my opinion but I stand by it. I have heard car buffs complain for years when they bought a car that doesn't have grease joints. Generally, it is a super-easy procedure to install them. And, as I mentioned previously, I had one other car that did not have grease fittings. I installed them and, guess what? When I greased them, dirt, air bubbles, dirty grease, and water was forced out of them just like any other joint. If I had not put in fittings and assumed that they were maintenence free, my joints would have gone. If I remember correctly, the car was a Subuaru. On that car, I had to drill a hole and tap it. Then I just screwed in the grease fittings. On other cars, you don't even have to drill or tap. I installed them on a friends car that had little plugs that I just unscrewed and replaced with the fittings. Took a few minutes. Nothing about the joint is changed except that it can then be lubed. It is not taken apart.

Don't believe me? Just ask a good mechanic.
 
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